Eat. Sleep. Reps. Repeat. (For science)

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  Last updated August 16, 2019 at 11:20 am


Deakin researchers are hosting a sleep over (in the name of science) to investigate whether a lack of sleep can inhibit muscle-building processes.


Researchers are keen to learn how sleep deprivation could affect muscle-building. Credit: stock_colors/Getty Images

Deakin researchers are looking for six resistance-trained women aged between 18 and 35 to restrict their sleep for nine consecutive nights.

Olivia Knowles from Deakin’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition says she’s keen to investigate how sleep restriction affects the muscle strength of people who are sleep deprived, such as night workers, new parents, older adults and athletes.

Lack of sleep could deprive important muscle-building processes

Knowles says muscle strength was important for being able to live a healthy and productive life and effectively carry out tasks at work and at home.

But lack of sleep could be depriving those who were sleep deprived from important muscle-building processes.

“We want to know if lack of sleep deprives people of building muscle strength, because muscle strength is linked to the prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes,” Knowles says.

A resistance training sleep-over

The six volunteers will stay overnight at Deakin University’s nursing quarters at the Burwood campus for nine consecutive nights – but will only be allowed to sleep between 1am and 6am.

On alternating days, the women hit the gym to undertake resistance training.

Their training performance will be compared to their training during a nine-day period where they are able to sleep at home from 10pm to 7am each day.

In both scenarios, the impact of the sleep and training on their body will be assessed using muscle and blood samples.

The first tranche of six female volunteers is currently participating in the nine-day sleepover – more accurately a wake-over – and Knowles hopes to have another six volunteers to start in September.

Anyone interested in joining the study, should contact Olivia Knowles at:


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